Author: Jackie Nacht
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 62 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: A short and sweet story with likable characters.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Come and get saved by these phoenix firefighters brothers.
Holden, a phoenix shifter, works at Rhodes Fire Department alongside his family. When he encounters his Sun, Rick, he’s half naked on the fire escape and Holden knows he’ll do anything to save Rick from the burning building. Even with the world knowing about paranormal beings, Holden has to figure out a way to tell Rick about himself. Phoenixes exist under the radar; keeping to small groups out of the limelight. Slight problem with maintaining secrets since it seems Rick may have unknowingly exposed himself to the phoenixes new enemy. How will Holden protect Rick with what happens when he goes up in flames?
spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.
Review: If you are looking for a short and sweet read that has a paranormal twist, Rise Out of the Flames could be just for you. Even with the firebug arsonist running around creating a mystery, it didn’t feel saturated with angst. The Greek mythology (which I’ll admit I always am fascinated by) combined with the shifter mythos was exciting to read. Holden’s family are Phoenixes and are the sons of Helios, and there is a lot more to explore in the Phoenix mythology as the series progresses.
Though I did enjoy the story as a whole, I find myself a little at odds as I try to write this review. As is often the case on shorter stories I feel like I needed just a bit more. On one hand, I liked the book for the premise and the characters were very likable. The author did a wonderful job on giving each character a distinct personality, and the brother’s relationship was amusing with entertaining dialogue. One of the things that can make or break a book for me is character development and realistic dialogue. Ms. Nacht nailed it on both of those items. One the other hand, as the first book in a new series we have a lot of introductions to key players and future MCs. Holden’s family takes up a fair amount of on page time, getting to know their personalities and how they function as a group and a little of their background. As a series setup it makes sense, but I feel the story could have been a little longer, giving the protagonists more on page time as their romance develops.
It’s a delicate balance when writing shorter stories, trying to make sure all the different aspects that are necessary to the progression of the story/series is provided, and I am not positive that balance was perfected in this case. Because the story was on the quicker side and the focus was shared between the family/key player introductions, the firebug mystery, and the romance, I felt the romance portion of the book is what ended up suffering in the end. As individuals, the characters were well written and I was fond of both Holden and Rick. Unfortunately, as a couple I didn’t get much time to really feel their chemistry.
I truly do look forward to finding more about the world Jackie Nacht has created. I have high hopes, now that the series world building has happened, that the future books in this series will find the balance that was not quite met in this book. I did appreciate the author’s writing style and characters and, ultimately, enjoyed the story as a whole.
You can buy Rise Out of the Flames here: